EMV Compliance: One Year Later

For most American retailers, it’s been a total nightmare. The transition to be compliant with EMV has been anything but easy. For those not fluent in retail-speak, EMV, or Europay, Mastercard, Visa, is the technology where a chip is embedded into a credit card, instead of a magnetic stripe. With the old cards, a customer’s information was stored in the magnetic stripe. In the new EMV cards, all of that personal information is separate from the card and is embedded in the chip; where customers can choose to use or not to use their pin for payment. The bottom line however, is that EMV cards are more secure and make it harder for bandits to replicate credit card numbers.

Getting all the right pieces in place for retailers to become EMV compliant has been a royal pain. And, the consequences of not reaching last October’s EMV compliance deadline are severe. Payment liability switched from the banks to the retailers, sticking retailers with the charge backs for fraudulent charges. To make matters worse, some banks are trying to penalize retailers if they haven’t hit certain milestones for EMV certification.

Despite the incentive to make the compliance date, most retailers are struggling. In fact, less than 30% of US retailers are currently compliant. But the blame doesn’t land solely on the shoulders of the retailers. It’s everyone’s fault – retailers, banks, companies that provide payment devices, solution providers – everyone. If one or more of a retailer’s vendors, like the POS solution provider, isn’t ready to be EMV compliant, it holds up the retailer from reaching EMV certification. The bottlenecks this is creating is causing the incredibly low rate of compliance.

Coming up with the appropriate approach and a solid plan to be EMV compliant cannot be overstated. It is essential that the first efforts of the retailer should be to get POS and procedure changes defined as they fall solely on their shoulders. There are many large and moving pieces involved, and attempting a piecemeal approach will not work. Many retailers have tried and failed to achieve EMV compliance by moving through in bits and pieces; but there are a lot of cycles and timing involved with reaching EMV compliance, and most retailers simply do not have the bandwidth and know-how to get it done.

Sophelle can facilitate any retailer’s transition to EMV compliance in a thoughtful and organized way by creating an actionable plan. We evaluate a retailer’s current solutions to see if they can handle EMV compliance or if they need to be replaced. Then, we help find retailers the right solutions they need.  Sophelle can manage the implementation of the new or upgraded solutions and even manage the necessary modifications to support EMV. Once all of the solutions are properly in place, Sophelle can assist in managing the certification process as well. If you are interested in finding out more about how Sophelle can help your retail business reach EMV compliance, contact us here.

Contributed by: Joe Dela Cruz